Greenwood LeFlore, Choctaw Chief, Unionist, owner of 400 slaves

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RobertP

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The town of Greenwood is located in Leflore County, Mississippi, at the edge of the Delta farming country. It is named for Chief Greenwood Leflore, who was elected Principal Chief of the Choctaws in 1830 before removal. Before that, the nation was governed by three district chiefs and a council of chiefs. A wealthy and regionally influential Choctaw of mixed race, who belonged to the Choctaw elite due to his mother's rank, LeFlore had many connections in state and federal government. In 1830 LeFlore led other chiefs in signing the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek, which ceded the remaining Choctaw lands in Mississippi to the US government and agreed to removal to Indian Territory. It also provided that Choctaw who chose to stay in Mississippi would have reserved lands, but the United States government failed to follow through on this provision.

While many of the leaders realized removal was inevitable, others opposed the treaty and made death threats against LeFlore. He stayed in Mississippi, where he settled in Carroll County and accepted United States citizenship. He was elected to the state government as a legislator and senator in the 1840s. During the American Civil War, he sided with the Union.

In the 1840s, LeFlore was elected Mississippi representative and senator. He was a fixture of Mississippi high society and a personal friend of Jefferson Davis. He was elected to represent Carroll County in the state house for two terms, and elected by the legislature as a state senator, serving one term. He became a wealthy planter and amassed a huge estate, where slaves worked in his cotton fields.

About 10 miles east of Greenwood in Carroll County, LeFlore built the mansion he named Malmaison and lived there until his death in 1865. He was buried wrapped in the American flag, on the estate. His body was later moved by angry members of the Choctaw nation, and buried face down in an unknown area. He left in addition to the mansion, an estate of 15,000 acres and 400 slaves. With emancipation after the war, the slaves became freedmen, but many may have stayed on the plantation to work for his descendants.

Source: wikipedia
 
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